Welcome to our weekly feature,
This week’s guest author is prolific, to say the least, having published five novels since October, 2011, with more underway for this year! David enjoys “conjuring up occurrences to quickly bring the story to a rolling boil,” and we know that you’ll enjoy learning just a bit about how he does that! So, grab a cup of coffee or pour yourself a cold brew — beverages are always on the house — pull up a chair, and enjoy!
David, at what age did you first realize you wanted to write books and how/when did you first share this ambition with “the world”? I can’t say exactly when I came to the realization, but soon after I started reading I had the thought that I’d like to write stories someday. I first shared this ambition when I worked as a business valuation expert. In that work I told people who owned an interest in a business or professional practice, the value of their ownership interest or intangible asset. I also did a fair amount of work as an expert witness in civil trials. From 1990 to 2002 I wrote dozens of articles on business valuation issues that were published in various financial and legal journals. I also wrote texts to help train financial analysts and accountants how to better understand the valuation of business interests. In 2000, along with an associate I began writing a nonfiction book, Valuation for M&A: Building Value in Private Companies, which went on to be published in English, Russian, and Chinese. In 2002, that book was published and I began writing my first love, fiction. Mysteries, thrillers and suspense stories specifically.
What influence has your career choice had on your choice of writing subject? Prior to turning to fiction in 2002 as a full time pursuit, my career had been as an entrepreneur. I owned and operated businesses in many different industries and found the principles for effectively running a business in all industries to be substantially the same. While the technical knowledge was different, thus creating a learning curve when changing industries, the basics were the same. Learn your field. Hire good workers. Train them and then get out of their way so they can do their job, while maintaining quality control over their output. Meet your commitments on what you’ll do and when you’ll have it done. Charge fairly. I try to apply these same principles to my writing career.
You published your first book during October 2011, followed by four more since then. Would you say you’ve become a “prolific writer” and can you tell us about your writing schedule? The release dates certainly indicate that I’m a prolific writer; however that is a bit misleading. I began writing fiction in 2002, but I did not aggressively pursue being published until 2010. Therefore, I had a small stockpile of stories close to finished, and another couple dozen with a skeletal storyline. During those years I spent time studying the craft of writing fiction. I also used my financial analyst background to get into the structure, workings, and weaknesses of the traditional book publishing world. As I learned I went back and reworked my stories to incorporate what I had learned. Remember the principles shared in answer to the above question. Learn the industry, do excellent work, charge fair prices, and deliver what you promised your customers—now readers. These principles for success don’t change. I didn’t want to be a one-book flash so I develop several before bringing them to the world.
You also asked about my writing schedule. I write early in the day, afternoon or late at night, sometimes all three continuously within the same day. I read the paragraph I wrote to end my last writing period and continue on. The first draft of each novel is rough. That’s okay. Numerous rewrites are used to polish and tighten the plot, flesh out the characters, and trim the fat out to make the story lean and assure an engaging pace.
What other books do you have underway and what can you tell us about them? Can you share some hints? Due to be released in June of this year is The Original Alibi, a Matt Kile Mystery. Matt was the protagonist in Who Murdered Garson Talmadge, so Matt Kile will be the leading man of a mystery series. In The Original Alibi, a diabolical killer murders a woman. Frames another for that murder, and simultaneously sets up an alibi to get the accused released after his arrest. Coming in August of this year will be a third Matt Kile mystery, a single short story titled Money & Murder, a Matt Kile Mystery. In the spring of 2013, Empty Promises, a Maddie Richards Mystery will be available. This new story will make Maddie Richards a series character. Maddie was the protagonist in The Beholder, a Maddie Richards Mystery, my first novel released in October of 2011.
Which of your characters is your favorite and why? Oh, my, I love them all; even the secondary supporting stars. I believe these supporting stars are the key to really wonderful stories. Matt Kile and Maddie Richards mentioned above have fascinating tics and talents and are a joy to write. Respectively, they are a leading man and a leading lady in their own mystery series.
Is there another genre you’d like to try and what attracts you about that genre? I grew up reading Zane Gray, and later reading Louis L’Amour so I’d love to write at least one western. I have a finished western short story I will include if I ever publish an anthology of the short stories I already have written. I’d also love to write a romantic comedy. I have always been fascinated by the many wonderful romantic comedy movies.
If you could pick another author’s character and use him or her as a character in a novel, who would that be and in what type of setting would you write about him or her? This is one wonderful question which could have dozens of wonderful answers. All these characters could be dropped into a multitude of settings and contribute greatly, much as a wonderful friend could join any number of gathering and enhance the pleasure of all in attendance. My reply will be salted with the film portrayals to aid in visualizing these characters. As a villain, Hannibal Lecter comes to mind for the magic of being a disgusting, revolting character who retains some attracting qualities. I was also fascinated by the wonderful curmudgeon Sir Wilfred in Witness for the Prosecution, as played in film by Charles Laughton. Who can forget Humphrey Bogart as Sam Spade? I must also mention Jack Nicholson as J.J. Gittes in Chinatown, a wonderful story of the decay that lurks just under the surface of a famous family. This is the overriding theme of my next mystery, The Original Alibi, (June 2012 release). Like Chinatown, The Original Alibi is a small stage story built upon the crumbling infrastructure of a seemingly class family.
You poll your readers and ask them to list five words that best describe your writing. What top five words do they list? Getting inside the heads of my characters is one thing, but it’s much more difficult to get inside the heads of my readers, yet I will try as you have asked. I think (at least hope) their replies would synthesize down to these five words: plot, humor, characters, romance, and pace.
Are you a dog person or a cat person and what kind of canine or feline assistance with your writing do your receive, if any? I do not have a dog or cat, but have had several of each over the years and will again have house pets. A chihuahua is a character in Who Murdered Garson Talmadge, a Matt Kile Mystery. Currently, my work and travel prevent me from giving the attention the dog or cat would deserve. We are also contemplating a move to Florida in the not too distant future. After that, we may add a pet to the household. They are such wonderful companions.
You’re admitted to heaven and you decide to throw a dinner party to celebrate your arrival. What five people, living or dead, are on your guest list? Such a small dinner party requires I cross off a great number of names I would love to have on the list. I also limited it to only dead folks; I wouldn’t want to be the cause of anyone living getting to heaven sooner than they will otherwise. Those who make the final cut would be: Thomas Jefferson, for discussion of American history and constitutional issues. Marilyn Monroe would be there because every gathering needs at least one sexy guest who can discuss secret relationships with the rich and powerful. Mark Twain, the great American writer who lived a fascinating and adventurous life. If Mark had a scheduling conflict I would invite Louis L’Amour or Ernest Hemmingway for those same qualities. I would want Martin Luther King to moderate the discussion of change without violence. Groucho Marx would be a must; he was so funny at so many dinner parties in so many movies. I would fill the last chair with Ronald Reagan to provide in one guest an inside view of the worlds of movies and politics. I know I named six, but by now you’ve probably picked up on my penchant for breaking rules. Besides our dinner table seats eight so six guests satisfies the table setting.
Where can you and your books be found? I can be found in Augusta, Georgia, the home of the Masters Golf Tournament. My books are available in digital eBook and print editions. They are sold throughout the world on Amazon as well as other online bookstores. Signed print editions are also available on my website. With the closing and shrinking of bookstores in response to the proliferation of buying books online, I have made no effort to secure placements in bookstores.
David Bishop, author biography: I was born in Washington, D.C., the son of a Navy man posted for duty in the nation’s capital. From there, my life likely mirrored that of a lot of my readers. We moved around. I got some education, played some sports, and got more education. I was married forty years, it ended in divorce. Along the way, we raised two children. An exercise, as you likely know, that was a great blessing, the source of much joy, and an experience that helped me find the pleasure of Irish whiskey.
I’d like to add an additional comment to the many people who follow your blog: The last several years I have been writing well enough to allow me to say: My stories are good. Take a journey with me. Laugh. Hold your breath. Cheer. Boo. The characters are rich, and the plots are grabbers. I promise most of you that you will be very glad you came along. I’d promise all of you, but nothing is liked by everyone. Some people don’t like golf, or chocolate, or apple pie, or even a hearty laugh. But I’ll bet you like some of that stuff and I’ll bet you’ll like my mysteries.
The E-Pub PUB appreciates David spending this time with us. We wish him much success with his upcoming new releases and continued success with his writing career!